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Methodius Hayes [userpic]

The Year of the Dragon

November 20th, 2018 (04:47 pm)

My book The Year of the Dragon has now been published in ebook format, and may be ordered from major ebook retailers including Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd and from Smashwords.

ISBN: 9780463733158
Title: The Year of the Dragon
Author: Stephen Hayes
Price: $US 3.99 (about R56.00, £3.10),

You may pre-order now for delivery on 29 November 2018

The Year of the Dragon

The year is 1988.

For 40 years the world has been in the grip of the Cold War, and South Africa has been in the grip of apartheid. For 71 years Russia has been under Bolshevik tyranny. Though few suspect it, this is about to change for ever.

On a farm in the picturesque southern Drakensberg of South Africa a woman dies, and a young lawyer, Richard Rutherford, and his friend Denis Walters combine business with a pleasure weekend in the mountains. They will visit the farm to take the first steps in settling the estate. They soon discover that others also have an interest in the estate, or at least some items in it, and that they are prepared to kill for them.

The contentious items seem to be some old Russian ikons, but how they got to a remote farm and why others are so anxious to get hold of them is a mystery. The search for answers leads them to a strange hermit and an even stranger priest, and a drive of a thousand miles in search of King Lobengula’s legendary treasure.


The Cover

The cover was designed by my son, Simon Hayes.

Simon studied fine art at Pretoria Technikon and is currently working on computer animation. You can find samples of his current work here.

How did I come to write this book?

As my fellow blogger Brenton Dickieson puts it, C.S. Lewis And J.R.R. Tolkien: The Unpayable Debt of Writing Friends (Throwback Thursday) | A Pilgrim in Narnia:

A now-famous literary pact between Tolkien and Lewis, “Tollers” and “Jack,” confirms how different their approach was. Here Humphrey Carpenter records Tolkien’s recollection of a conversation they had, with Lewis speaking first:

“Tollers, there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.” We agreed’ (said Tolkien) ‘that he should try “space-travel”, and I should try “time-travel”. (Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien, 190).

C.S. Lewis’ space travel story, Out of the Silent Planet, appeared quickly in 1938. We don’t get to see what Tolkien was working on until after he died.

Among the stories I liked, and still like, are those written by Lewis and Tolkien’s fellow Inkling, Charles Williams. He wrote several plays, a lot of poetry and seven novels. I think his stories are much underrated. None of them, for example, appear in The Reader’s Companion to the Twentieth-Century Novel. So if we wanted more of the stories we like, we should have to write them ourselves. And the challenge still stands: I would love to read more stories in the genre of Charles Williams, so please write some!

You can find The Year of the Dragon on GoodReads here.

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Blog posts

November 4th, 2017 (05:56 am)

I haven't been writing much in my LiveJournal, but here are some of the recent and popular posts in my other blogs:

In my Khanya blog, which is mainly for theology and literature, these are currently most popular

I was somewhat surprised by the sudden popularity of the one on Burgersdorp, which we visited on holiday 5 years ago. Most of the others are fairly old too, but two recent ones that I would be interested in reactions to are:
My other blog, Notes from Underground, is one I use for more general topics, observations on events, politicval comment, book reviews of lighter reading, and some ephemeral topics, has the following as the most popular:
And the most recent posts are:
I'd recommend the What is Terrorism? one as intended to provoke discussion.

And on our family history blog the following are the most recent:

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Farewell to an old friend

August 9th, 2017 (05:31 pm)

Farewell to an old friend

8 August 2017

Just over a month ago we visited old friends Martin and Wendy Goulding. A month later Martin died.

Martin & Wendy Goulding, Melville, Johannesburg 29 Jun 2017

Martin told us something about his health problems. He was taking pain-killers every day, and had to have medicine for diabetes more than 20 times a day. He was regularly seeing an oncologist about cancer.

And today we attended his funeral.

St Francis Anglican Church, Parkview, 8 August 2017

And my mind went back more than fifty years, when four of us, all students at the University of Natal, took off for a long weekend travelling around seeing friends. We were Martin Goulding, Isobel Dick (now Beukes), Pam Taylor (later Trevelyan, now dead) and me.

We were driving from Piet Retief to Ladysmith on a beautiful spring day in September 1965, with the hills around Paulpietersburg green with new grass, and we started singing eschatological hymns. One of them was Light’s abode, celestial Salem, vision whence true peace doth spring.

When we had sung it a couple of times Martin said that his favourite verse of the hymn was this one.

O how glorious and resplendent,
fragile body, shalt thou be,
when endued with so much beauty,
full of health and strong and free,
full of vigour, full of pleasure
that shall last eternally.

I hope he has now discovered what that means.


More memories of Martin Goulding (and other old friends) here.

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

UK trip 2005

August 9th, 2017 (05:29 pm)

OK, it's old, but...

UK Holiday May 2005

In May 2005 Val and I set off on a holiday trip to the UK. We didn’t blog about it as we went along, because we did not always have internet access, so this is written after the event. One post that we did have at the time was this one on Ancestral Places.

Most of the family bits in in our family history blog, and some of the parts where we visited friends are in our other blogs, but each post is linked to the next so anyone interested in following them in order can do so. This page lists them all, so people interested in a particular place or people can go straight to what they are looking for.

Because of our interest in family history, we visited relations, some of whom we had never met before, and also some of the places our ancestors had come from. We visited old friends, some of wwhom we hadn’t seen for many years.

M4034S-4211

Wastwater, Cumbria, 10 May 2005

Val had visited the UK in 1971, and I had gone there for postgraduate study at St Chad’s College, Durham, from 1966-1968. It was over 30 years since either of us had been there, so there were many changes, some expected, and some not.

Here, then are the links to the posts.

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Where's my journal?

July 28th, 2016 (11:47 am)
frustrated

current location: South Africa, Pretoria
current mood: frustrated

When I log in to LJ, I can't find my own journal. I can see it OK when I'm not logged in, but the moment I log in it's gone.

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Notes from Underground, a 10th blogiversary

November 28th, 2015 (07:10 am)

Ten years ago I started a new blog, Notes from Underground, which eventually let me to post less on LiveJournal, because it had an easier-to-use editor.

It reminded me, however, that LiveJournal is still here, and if WordPress mess any more with their blog editor, I might be posting more here in future. For now, however, the others make it easier to post photos, so I prefer to use them for illustrated posts.

Some that my LiveJournal friends (if there are any left) might like to see are of a holiday trip we took last spring to the Western Cape via the west coast, and saw fields of spectacular spring flowers in Namaqualand.

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

UK holiday May 2005

May 10th, 2015 (06:08 am)

In May 2005 Val and I set off on a holiday trip to the UK. We didn’t blog about it as we went along, because we did not always have internet access, so this is written after the event.

Most of the family bits in in our family history blog, and some of the parts where we visited friends are in our other blogs, but each post is linked to the next so anyone interested in following them in order can do so. This page lists them all, so people interested in a particular place or people can go straight to what they are looking for.

Because of our interest in family history, we visited relations, some of whom we had never met before, and also some of the places our ancestors had come from. We visited old friends, some of wwhom we hadn't seen for many years.

Val had visited the UK in 1971, and I had gone there for postgraduate study at St Chad’s College, Durham, from 1966-1968. It was over 30 years since either of us had been there, so there were many changes, some expected, and some not.

Here, then are the links to the posts.

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

My blogging year: 2014

January 3rd, 2015 (04:45 am)
current location: Gauteng, South Africa

Here are some of the highlights of my blog posts in 2014.

They are not necessarily the most popular, or the most commented-on, but the ones that I think were worth reading, and the ones I would most like to see comments on.

January 2014


February 2014
March 2014April 2014
May 2014
June 2014

July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
Could there be said to be any outstanding highlights for the whole year?

Probably it is
The clergy with Archbishop Damaskinos after the Divine Liturgy in St Demetrius Church. Deacon Stephen nHayes, Fr Elias Palmos, Archbishop Damaskinos, Fr George Cocotos, Archimandrite Athanasius Akunda

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Politics and stuff

May 18th, 2014 (06:59 am)
current location: Tshwane, Gauteng

Here in South Africa we've just had a general election, so we've been thinking a lot about politics lately. My comments on the election results are here and here, if anyone is interested. My thoughts can be summarised in a verse from the Psalms: Put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man, because there is no help in them.

My wife has now retired, so we've been doing a lot of family history research together, and that has meant there's less time for blogging.

I've been posting less on LJ and more on other blogging platforms because on the others it is easier to include pictures.

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Back again...

March 28th, 2014 (10:11 am)

I can't remember when I was last on LiveJournal. Our phone was out of order for 6 weeks, but it's been longer than that, so that isn't a real excuse, Most of my LJ friends seem to have stopped posting anyway, and the only ones I see regularly are seraphimsigrist, meadowskete and poliphilo, and they've probably given up on me anyway.

If anyone is interested, you can read about our return to the Dark Ages here, and some reflections on recent events in Ukraine here, since I seem to be doing most of my writing about things in other places than here.

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